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Three in court for city teen’s murder

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His death led to outrage amongst the community and a shanty was set alight in Vergenoeg in an act of mob justice

Tshepiso Thompson

THREE men appeared in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Tshepiso Thompson.

Thompson was robbed of his denim jacket and sneakers and stabbed to death in the early hours of March 31.

His death led to outrage amongst the community and a shanty was set alight in Vergenoeg in an act of mob justice.

The three accused – Godfrey Mothobi, 25, Phemelo Matlakala, 25, and Thabo Krutse, 29 – appeared in court yesterday on charges of murder and robbery.

Police spokesperson Captain Bashoabile Kale said that none of the minors who were arrested in connection with the incident could be linked to the crimes and were released.

“The case was postponed for a formal bail application and the accused will remain in custody until then.”

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Patrick Mabilo yesterday condemned the incidents of alleged gang violence that claimed the lives of city youths over the past month.

He also called on community members to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.

“Mob justice is a crime in itself. We understand the frustration expressed by the community and welcome the arrests made. Those directly linked to these brutal crimes should be severely punished. Violence is never an answer to any problem, especially gang-related violence. Communities should allow the police to conduct speedy investigations that will lead to the convictions of the perpetrators,” said Mabilo.

He added that one of the parents of the deceased was employed at the water section at Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“We share the pain of the families who have lost their children – who had a bright future waiting for them.”

He stated that the municipality would pay attention to derelict structures and dimly lit areas that were frequented by criminals.

“We are aware of the correlation between drug abuse and crime, that is why we should also join hands in the fight against drugs within our community,” Mabilo added.

“We call upon the police, leaders of civil society and the community at large to work closely in dealing with all acts of lawlessness and violence in the area.”